President Volodymyr Zelensky expects from Mikheil Saakashvili, whom he appointed as the head of the National Reform Council, results in deregulation and improvement of customs.
"I expect the results of Saakashvili's work not on the second day after his appointment, but in the coming months they should be. The results are about deregulation in business and customs reform," said Zelensky at a briefing during a working trip to the Carpathian Mountains, as cited by Ukrinform.
According to Zelensky, Saakashvili during the presidency in Georgia was able to overcome corruption and modernize the country’s customs.
"We talked a lot about it. He said that, at one time, he put new people at customs, then dismissed everyone. After a while he put others and had to dismiss them again. Well, customs reform is such a complicated undertaking. I want him to do it," he said.
"The second point is that he has quite strong investment ties with many countries. When they built Batumi, they attracted various investors who built a large chain of hotels there. He has experience," the Ukrainian President said.
Zelensky also said that he was interested in Saakashvili's help on pension reform, which is necessary in Ukraine.
"He has a lot to do, a lot of reforms," said Zelensky.
This is the second time that Saakashvili gets position in the Ukrainian government. Five years ago, he was appointed head of the Odessa region, but a year and a half later he resigned and went into opposition to President Petro Poroshenko. His tumultuous political activities, during which he once had to run on the roof to escape detention, ended with him being deported from Ukraine and stripped of citizenship in 2017.
In May 2019, President Vladimir Zelensky returned Saakashvili's Ukrainian citizenship, and the next day Saakashvili returned to Ukraine.